German politicians on German reparations: We have committed a great injustice in Greece

German politicians on German reparations: We have committed a great injustice in Greece

Athens, March 18, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency

By Spiros Sideris

In favour of the settlement of the issue of the greek claims for war reparations are politicians of the German Social Democrats (SPD) and Greens, with their statements in the online version of the magazine Der Spiegel.

“Politically, in my opinion, the case is clear: we need to approach the victims and their relatives financially. I think it would be good from the German side to put our own house in order in terms of the past. The point is to recognise that we have committed a great injustice in Greece”, says the head of the Fundamental Rights of the SPD Gesine Schwan and points out that the Germans are not familiar with the misfortunes of the Greeks under the Nazis.

“But the victims and their descendants have more memory than the perpetrators and their descendants”, she says and points out that the forced loan should undoubtedly be paid, while she characterised as reasonable the proposal to establish a foundation for research and reconciliation, in which further compensations will be made available.

The deputy chairman of the SPD Ralf Stegner stresses that “we should not connect the issue of reparations to the current debate over the eurocrisis”, but this debate be conducted independently. “This concerns the management of our own history. I’m against the argument that these have finished. Even after decades there are issues of international law to resolve”, he stresses.

“Germany cannot disappear the claim of Greece just like that”

On the part of the Greens, the head of their Parliamentary Group Anton Hofreiter states that “Germany cannot disappear just like that the claim of Greece for compensation from the table” and stresses that “this chapter has essentially noshut neither morally nor legally”, while the German government would do well to discuss with Greece to examine the German crimes in Greece and to seek a friendly solution”.

But he considers unacceptable such a sensitive and difficult issue to be mixed in the negotiations on the economic aid for the crisis. Ms. Schwann, has a different view is in this regard, however, since she believes that “psychologically it is understandable that Athens asks in this situation if we Germans have always behaved so honorably”.

However, under special international law Frank Schorkopf, the reference from the Berlin side the 2+4 Agreement no longer appeases the debate and the argument should be wider. Spiegel recalls that the Scientific Service of the German Parliament has expressed doubts as to whether the German government can maintain its position. “It could be billions”, emphasised in the publication and makes a reference to the reparations for cases such as the massacre in Distomo and the forced occupation loan.

Cheap maneuver the claim of compensation, says a member of CSU

“No one bites the hand that feeds him”, said the head of the Bavarians Christian Democrats (CSU) in the German Parliament, Gerda Hasselfeldt, referring to the Greek claim for reparations, which she described as “cheap maneuver designed to distract”.

Hasselfeldt argued that “the issue now is not to reconcile with the past” and added that Greece must solve the current problems.

“The ball is to the Greek government. A discussion of Germany compensation is unnecessary. The issue is legally arranged”, she said, agreeing with the criticism of the Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble to Athens. The minister “rightly pointed out that the Greek government must do ‘its homework’ and not distract attention”, said the Bavarian politician.